Nixon Power Plant - Executive Summary
This executive summary provides a brief overview of the Risk Management Program (RMP) and the associated policies at the Nixon Power Plant, one of several facilities owned and operated by the Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU). |
Accidental Release Prevention and Emergency Response Policies
CSU has determined that this facility is required to comply with RMP Program 2. CSU believes that it is important to provide a safe workplace to its employees and minimize the impact of its operations on the surrounding community and the environment. Accordingly, CSU has developed proactive safety and environmental programs, which are reliant upon active employee participation and management leadership and support. This same proactive philosophy was employed in the development and implementation of the Nixon Power Plant RMP for the chlorine systems.
The RMP prevention program is arguably the most important element of the rule. Its program elements require the active participation of facility emplo
yees and management in conducting activities aimed at preventing accidental releases of regulated chemicals. If prevention activities could be completely successful, there would be no need for emergency response activities, since no releases would occur. Accordingly, a well-developed and properly-implemented prevention program will lower the possibility of an accidental release and minimize the consequences of a release should one occur.
CSU takes an active role in preventing accidental releases at all of its facilities by ensuring that its employees are well-informed regarding the hazards associated with the regulated processes (e.g., chlorine at the Nixon Power Plant) and actively participated in comprehensive process hazard analyses. The system employees are properly trained in the safe operation of the covered processes and the safe handling of treatment chemicals. They are aided in this work by complete, understandable system operating procedures.
CSU management understands
its duty to provide a safe working environment and to take measures to prevent accidents that may have an effect on the surrounding community. This understanding is reflected in procedures described and referenced in the Nixon Power Plant RMP procedures and policies.
As for emergency response, CSU has established and maintains procedures for emergency notification and response. These are reviewed with employees on a periodic basis and revised to accommodate changes in staffing when they occur.
Stationary Source and Regulated Substances
The Nixon Power Plant is located at 14020 Ray Nixon Road on Hanna Ranch property in Foutain, El Paso County, Colorado. The facility treats surface water for use in four separate locations: cooling tower, softener plant, equalization basin, and the zero discharge plant.
The Nixon Power Plant utilizes chlorine as a disinfecting agent in the treatment of water. The chlorine is stored in one-ton containers at four separate locations with a maximum in
tended inventory of fourteen containers (28,000 pounds) on site. Therefore, the Nixon Power Plant is regulated under Program 2 of the RMP rule due to the volume of chlorine stored and used at the facility.
Worst-case and alternative release scenarios have been determined after careful review of the regulation and consideration of the storage vessel configuration at the facility. For worst-case release scenario, the regulation is clear. The assumption is that a full one-ton container of chlorine is released over a ten-minute period. No active mitigation may be considered. Worst-case meteorological conditions as specified in the RMP regulation are also assumed to be present. The release is also assumed to occur outdoors.
For the alternative release scenario, the facility reviewed the consequences of the loss of a valve, which breaks off at the container connector from a full one-ton container during offloading activities. The incident would occur outdoors.
ults of the off-site consequence analyses are described in Sections 2 and 3 of the RMP*Submit plan for the Nixon Power Plant.
Prevention Steps for Chlorine
The prevention program and chemical-specific prevention steps are described in detail in the Nixon Power Plant RMP manual. The prevention program includes the following elements:
7 Safety information, which includes information pertaining to the hazards of chlorine in the process, process technology, and process equipment
7 Hazard review, which includes a systematic evaluation (by an employee team) of: the hazards of the chlorine processes, identification of previous process incidents, engineering and administrative controls, consequences of failure of the engineering and administrative controls, facility siting, human factors, and possible safety and health effects of failure of controls
7 Operating procedures, which include steps for each operating phase, operating limits, safety and health considerations, and safety systems an
d their functions
7 Training for each Nixon Power Plant employee involved in operating the chlorine systems
7 Computerized maintenance program including schedules and job plans to maintain the on-going integrity of the chlorine process equipment
7 Compliance audits at least every three years from 1999 to evaluate Nixon Power Plant RMP compliance
7 Incident investigation, to be conducted and documented for each incident that resulted in, or could have reasonably resulted in, a catastrophic release of chlorine from the Nixon Power Plant
Within the five-year period prior to the submittal of this RMP, there were no accidental releases of chlorine meeting the requirements of 40 CFR 68.42.
Emergency Response Program
This facility has established and maintains an emergency response program, which includes an evacuation plan. The program is coordinated with local response agencies, including the City of Colorado Springs and Fort Carson Fire Departments and Hazardous Materia
ls Response Teams. The program is described in detail in the Nixon Power Plant RMP manual and meets the requirement of 40 CFR 68.95, which include on-site emergency response backed up by the Colorado Springs and Fort Carson Fire Departments and Hazardous Materials Response Teams. The goals of the program are to protect onsite employees from the hazardous effects of chemical releases and to minimize the effects of releases on the general public. The program is routinely reviewed and updated to reflect personnel and regulatory changes. CSU works closely with the Colorado Springs LEPC and other local industries and agencies to coordinate local response activities.
Planned Changes for Improved Safety
Ideas for changes to improve safety are actively sought from employees. Employee meetings that focus on safety issues are held regularly at the Nixon Power Plant. Employees are encouraged and trained to recognize hazards and to present ideas to eliminate them or to minimize the potentia
l consequences of those hazards.